5 Ways To Help This Week (2 November 2020)
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Each week the WCWD team adds new content to the site – we keep it relevant to make sure you’re informed on the latest!
But because we also know it can be overwhelming with so much information flying around, we’ve collated 5 new things for you to get involved in this week – whether you do one or all five, you can make a difference.
This week England goes back into lockdown, and we understand that it is a stressful, difficult time and it may be easy to feel hopeless.
We have seen that great change can be made right from our sofas, and coming together in a community to make positive change is something we all need right now.
1. Take action to stop any more deaths happening in the Channel
Last week at least two children and two adults died after their boat sank when trying to cross the Channel. Rasul (35), Shiva (35), Anita (9), Armin (6), Artin (1), were a Kurdish family of five from Iran.
The inhumane refugee policies of the UK government have to change. Refugee applications can only begin once the individual has reached the UK, which is forcing people into impossible and life threatening situations.
Raise awareness of this injustice and write to your MP to call for humane policies from the UK government using this template.
You can also join in on social media with Europe Must Act’s vigil to commemorate the lives of Rashul, Shiva, Anita, Armin and Artin and others who have lost their lives trying to find safety and opportunity in the UK.
2. Support the protests in Poland
Abortions on the grounds of foetual defects are now deemed unconstitutional. 98% of all abortions in Poland are on these grounds, so the ruling will have a significant impact on the lives of women.
In opposition to this ruling, Wednesday saw a strengthening of the protest movement as many Polish citizens refused to go to work.
To support the protesters, sign the petition on change.org that demands giving Polish women the right to abortions, and this one on the UK Government website to urge the Polish government to reconsider its approach to abortion.
You might also like: Spotlight on Violence Against Women and Girls
3. Celebrate Intersex Awareness Day by educating yourself
Last Monday was 2020’s Intersex Awareness Day, so celebrate it by reading and learning from these fab resources.
“Intersex is an umbrella term – which describes people who are born with variations in their sex development. This means that the person’s sex characteristics are different to the stereotypes we are taught about the body.” - Aaron Carty
Intersex people comprise an estimated 1.7% of the UK population, which is more common than being trans. However many intersex people are not open about it, due to the social stigma against being anything other than male or female.
Understand the experience of Intersex people within the UK read this personal and informative blog written by Aaron Carty.
Learn how to create an intersex-friendly environment with the Intersex Campaign for Equality.
Learn how to “raise the bar” and become an Intersex ally, and learn about appropriate and respectful language from Intersex Human Rights Australia. For further resources check out their page on Intersex Awareness Day.
Make sure to share, share, share these resources with your friends and family!
You might also like: Voices of Change: Switchboard LGBT Helpline
4. Grow a Mo!
The 1st November marked the beginning of Movember, to support the charity's work in mental health, suicide prevention, testicular and prostate cancer. You can check out a list of projects that Movember fundraising has supported on their website.
Black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men - Movember
No mo to grow? Host a Mo-ment to bring people together for a good cause (virtually, of course!).
Testicular cancer strikes young. It's the most common cancer in young UK men - Movember
With the continued COVID-19 situation causing lockdowns across the UK and across the world, mental health problems are worsening, with the number of suicides and suicide attempts increasing in the UK.
Sadly, the number of suicide and attempted suicide incidents we attend are increasing. Our crews now attend an average of 37 suicides or attempted suicides per day, compared to 22 in 2019 and 17 five years ago - London Ambulance Service
If you're worried about someone, read our Spotlight on Suicide for information, resources and practical things you can do to support your loved ones, including conversation starters and contact details for support services.
Talking about suicide does not make it more likely to happen, and recovery is possible.
You might also like: Spotlight on breast cancer and prostate cancer.
5. Sustainable Swap: Halloween Special
Follow these top tips to ensure your Halloween celebrations are sustainable!
Don’t throw away your costume! Instead donate it to your local charity shop or swap with family and friends and get next year’s Halloween costume sorted early.
Reuse your decorations. They can be used again for next year and can come in handy around the house! For example faux spider webs are a great cushion stuffing.
Use sweet wrappers in a spooky art and craft session. Unrecyclable sweet wrappers can be transformed into wearable jewellery, vases and bookmarks so get creative and reduce your plastic waste! Check out these crafty ideas.
Use up all your pumpkin! What you scrape out when carving can make a yummy soup, pie or even hummus. For pumpkin recipes check out these recipes on BBC Good Food.
Compost your carved pumpkin. You can do so by cutting it up and burying it in your garden. If this isn’t possible do a bit of searching for a composting centre near you. Another option is donating it to someone who has chickens as they are great food stock!
You might also like: Spotlight on Sustainability
Your weekly cup of Positivi-tea
The UK is becoming a community of eco-friendly, green-fingered folk. This is reflected in the recent increases in plant and bulb purchases.
Homebase saw the purchase of fruit and vegetable plants increase by 45% whilst over the last five months, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has had a 533% increase in the number of 18-24 year olds visiting their website.
"Grow-your-own edible plants have seen huge interest. Over 3.5 million people have taken up gardening for the first time" - Guy Barter of the RHS
Whilst lockdown has seen many tragedies, this is a bit of goodness to come out of it. By reconnecting to nature hopefully the future will see a greener, kinder and more sustainable world.
Come back again next week for more ideas about how you can get involved and make a difference. In the meantime, if you know of any initiatives in your community that you think we should promote get in touch.
Contributor for this blog: Laura Toms
More things you might like
Subscribe to the What Can We Do? newsletter
In order to see the latest updates, information and opportunities to help and support during coronavirus and beyond, sign up to the WCWD mailing list below and receive our newsletters.